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Choose A Leko For Me.

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by waynehoskins, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Some of you know that on the side I light shows at the local high school. It's a proscenium space (a bastardized one, but surprisingly functional), and for the past 20 years the stock of Lekos has been 12 1KL6-30s (historically all on the AP, though I always change that) and 6 Strand 6x16 axials (2216?).

    Every show I fight with the stupid 1KLs to try to get light to come out the front of them and not suck very much; sometimes I have more success than others. The last two shows I've lit there I've ended up replacing the KLs in the downstage frontlight system (most important system in the whole stinking rig): last show with my fresh-from-Ebay 360Qs, this show with rental S4s.

    The theatre department at the high school (possibly partly because I've ended up doing this twice now and gotten more light out of the replacements) is open to buying some new Lekos, and this evening after final dress for this show we talked briefly about that sort of thing and about how much they cost.

    So here comes the dilemma: which Leko (okay, ERS) would you pick? I presume they'd have to go with new, though old units are great in my book. Source Four? SL? Shakes? 360Q?

    They've got essentially an MD288 half-rack with 2.4Ks, not that it makes much difference really; and currently all of the existing fixtures are 6" units, mostly Fresnels (which work fine).

    Part of me thinks S4 because it's the new standard; another LD I know really prefers the SL (and doesn't it take 7.5" cuts?); I know 360Qs pretty well; and I've even used a single Shakes once (and it didn't totally suck).

    I think the initial thing is to get them about a dozen 26s, and then expand the inventory for overstage Lekos (which would have to be either 36s or 50s because of the stupid short throw). And some T3s to light the cyc; I was thinking three-cell Irises.

    To me I think it's just between the S4, the SL, and the 360Q; I can't see any benefit to the Shakes in this case .. but what do you think?
     
  2. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Source 4. Hands down, no contest.


    Buuut, for bang for your buck you may want to consider getting some fresnels instead, those with some barndoors and you could get a nice front light wash...
     
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    From an AP position?

    The Strand SL Coolbeam uses the same colorframes and accessories as the SourceFour. Do a search, and you'll find the majority of posters prefer the S4 over the SL. The 360Q streets around $195, the S4 $300. You might also consider the SourceFour jr at ~$200. There is no benefit whatsoever to the Shakespeare; see this post.

    As for Cyc Floods, I'm not sure the QuartzColor Iris is still available in the US (certainly not via Strand). Consider the L&E BroadCyc or the Altman SkyCyc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  4. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    I've worked with both Strand SL's and ETC Source 4's. Given my preference, I'll take the Source 4's over the SL's any day of the week. The Bulk of our fixtures at the Pageant are Source 4's, the oldest of which was manufactured in 1997, and is still in excellent shape.
     
  5. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I hate the SL's. I dont have time to fight with a stupid fixture for 30min to get the stupid lamp out to replace it. S4's one screw and the lamp is out. I will take a S4 over any other leko.
     
  6. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Not from the AP .. especially since the angle from this AP is far flatter than the ideal 45 .. it's no steeper than 30, probably more like 20, so downstage fronts have to be Lekos to not light up the entire back wall and loudspeaker array and ceiling.

    And for what it's worth, they already have a fair inventory of Fresnels - about 3 dozen Strand Fresnelites (#3380), KW-rated, and about 15 Alt 65Qs. And some crap P56s that don't do crap when they're lamped at 300.

    I thought they used that bayonet mechanism to mount the cap. The LD I know who loves SLs particularly loves the bayonet mechanism.

    Source Four it seems to be, then. They're a pretty light.
     
  7. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    S4's for me all the way. I've used Strand Century's, Altman 360's and S4's...the S4 wins hands down with no contest.
     
  8. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I would go with the Source Fours or Selecon Pacifics.
     
  9. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Either S4's or Selecon Pacifics.

    Pass on the SL.

    If you somehow ended up with Shakespeare's, while that's not ideal, they aren't bad. I've used Shakespeares in a facility where they received NO maintenance the four years I worked that summer program and they held up fine.

    Now, if you don't have the money, used 360Q's are always a good deal. Nothing wrong with having a good inventory of maintained 360Q's. Especially with the 575 lamps.
    A new 360Q is a beautiful thing.
     
  10. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Source Fours all the way. I don't hate Shakespeares, but they're not as good as S4s in my book. There's a reason Source Fours are the most popular and the design has changed so little since they were introduced - it's a proven design that's easy to use and low-maintenance.
     
  11. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Absolutely .. especially after Ship's S4/360Q shootout. I've got 8 360Qs in my personal inventory, and cleaned and lamped 575 they're pretty.

    But a new 360Q, that's even prettier than mine, what with that super kickback reflector and all.
     
  12. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Did I miss this shoot-out? [user]ship[/user] has stated "A 360Q with the right lamp will out-shoot a Source4," but when challenged, as I recall, was unable/unwilling to defend the claim.

    [Never trust the data on any manufacturer's spec sheets. Actual mileage may vary. Paid product endorsement. No animals were harmed in the making of this ad. Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear. I'm derekleffew and I approve of this message.]
     
  13. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    I took that moderately unscientific test ("I could clearly see that A was brighter than B") as at least that the 360Q can keep up with a S4, if not slightly outshoot it (makes sense to me: larger lens = more light). I'd really like to see a real scientific shootout, but for now "I put them side-by-side with same lamps and the result was..." is shootout enough for me.

    But, survey results being what they are, I think the winner is the Source Four. They are The Standard these days, and the interchangeable barrels is a major advantage over the 360Q.

    You know, I really would like to see a real scientific shootout between all of the major Lekos these days.
     
  14. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    One million units sold from 1992-2000. Another one million sold from 2000-2006. Should we start a poll to place bets on when the 3,000,000th unit will be sold?

    I've never seen any figures on how many 360Qs have been produced since its introduction in, I'm not sure, 1979?
     
  15. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    S4 is the standard and my personal favorite. Take a look at Selecon if you can. It's a very nice instrument. I purchased 8 Selecon zooms to use in my inventory just for image projection. The optics on a standard Selecon are nearly as good as the ETC EDLT lenses. So they rock for gobos. With the right package they are actually cool enough that you can print a color image on a sheet of color transparency and drop it in the Selecon. VERY cool stuff. They cost slightly more than ETC but not a lot.

    As was mentioned above, take a look good look at S4 Jr.'s. I'm a big fan of Jr.'s for schools, they make a lot of sense on the budget. Negatives: barrel doesn't rotate, size M gobos, 575 watt limit, 26, 36, and 50 degree barrels or 25-50 zooms. So basically as long as they aren't your primary instrument for gobos, the throw isn't too long, and you don't want to use 750 watt lamps they are perfect.

    Prices from Production Advantage's website... you should be able to do a little better if the package is good size:
    S4 fixed lens $300
    S4 Jr. Fixed lens $200
    S4 Jr. Zoom $250
    Selecon Zoom $480
    S4 Zoom $430
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  16. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    SL's actually aren't that bad IF you get ones that work the way they should. Commonly, the lamp caps get stuck, or the knob that you loosen to rotate the fixture won't tighten (caused by a broken bushing inside usually - a simple fix but a pain in the butt). The reflectors are also thinner and the shutters are more stiff. I have 6 SL's (3 fixed, 1 zoom) and I would trade the fixed focus' for Source Fours if i could (they were free).. I'd keep the zooms though, for their size. Out of my 6 SL's, one of the fixed focus has a broken reflector and the 360 degree rotation won't lock in.

    Choose the Source Four if you plan to use gobos. Otherwise the 360Q's of the correct degree would be plenty. The 360Q, like the Source Four will always be easy to work on and to find parts for.
     
  17. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Just want to point out a S4 Jr. fixed lens is about the same price as a 360Q. Jr.'s a way better choice in my opinion.
     
  18. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Whatever you do, don't get SL's. I'll make a quick list of reasons why I hate the SL.



    • The reflectors are extremely fragile. At one of the theatres I work at, we live in the house that Strand built, and more than 75% of our SL's have cracked reflectors, and a number of them have broken reflectors. Our 10°'s, which never leave the catwalk pipes except for an occasional maintenance or inventory day, have 4 cracked reflectors. We only own five of those. You do the math on the failure rate of lights that rarely get bounced around from place to place.
    • Those ingenius, spring-loaded knobs, don't stay spring-loaded. If you, or more likely, anyone who helps you over-loosens one, the knob pops off, the spring shoots across the room, and then there's another piece which can also get lost. You'll quickly lose knobs, springs, and other parts. This isn't the end of the world when focusing at ground level on stage, but when you're in the aerial lift or on the catwalk, a part that flies off is as good as gone.
    • The 360° rotating barrel is an awesome feature...but, the piece that goes around the fixture to allow for that feature, which is the same piece that connects the barrel to the yoke, is made of plastic. I've seen them break, and if that happens and you don't affix a safety cable directly to the integral attachment point on the fixture, you're light is no more good than illustrating that the sky is falling.
    • On the zooms, along the track that the barrel runs on, is cloth tape. It's essentially gaffers tape, sort of. Put that through 10 years of use and heat and you've got a fun task to go and replace all of it.
    • As many have already mentioned, each time you go to replace the lamp, or so much as inspect it, you have to then bench focus all over again, because it screws up your bench just to pull the cap off.
    • The yokes are less rigid than those of the S4. If you hang an SL, and then hang a S4, if you go to shake the S4, it'll be as solid as a rock, but if you shake the S4, it'll wobble back and forth.
    In a road house which has only been open for six, leaning now towards seven years, the ATD is trying to get our entire SL inventory phased out with S4's. To give some TLC to all of our SL's and make them whole again with new reflectors (and this is only replacing those that are completely broken), replacement knobs, handles, what have you, would cost the same amount of money as it would for us to purchase 18 new S4's. That doesn't even include the then inevitable price of also having to pay labor for overhires to come in and do all of the fixing.

    A large digression later, I conclude with saying that the S4 of Pacific range is the way to go. My experience with the Shakespeares is limited, but from what I saw, I'd also agree with gafftapegreenia that it wouldn't be the end of the world. They're fairly robust instruments, but noticeably bulky. I would be really interested to see a drop-test experiment between the S4 and Shakespeare for durability. I think it would pretty close, but I hesitate to say that by default, the S4 would the be the winner as in most other cases.
     
  19. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    I heard that these are the latest in technologically advanced lighting:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I heard that with the right lamp, a 1366E will out-shoot a SourceFour.
     

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